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Old 11-28-2007, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,844,086 times
Reputation: 4700

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I saw this article on Philly.com yesterday and thought it would be of interest to those who are unaware of the amazing living opportunities that continue to abound in Center City (if you can afford it, of course). I also thought it would be good fodder for intellectual discussion. I think it confirms to be the beginning of what seems to be an inevitable non-sustainability of suburban sprawl, but what do others think? Is this a demographical trend that will be short-lived, or will baby-boomers/empty-nesters -- and young families, for that matter -- continue to invest in our old urban core cities like Philadelphia?


Second life as urban hipsters
Ex-suburban empty nesters flourish in Center City.


By Melissa Dribben

Inquirer Staff Writer
Carl and Mary Ellen Schneider. A couple in love. Making the most of the city. Typical day. They get up, fix breakfast. Sling their matching black Jansport backpacks over their shoulders. His bag loaded with textbooks - physics for non-majors and American Civilization in the 20th Century. Hers, your basic wallet, glasses and cellphone. Out the door on Locust Street, he walks to the University of Pennsylvania for class. She heads to a planning meeting for the Philadelphia Crafts Fair. Later they meet in Rittenhouse Square.

"We love to watch the world pass by," says Carl.

Moderator cut: do not repost copyrighted material

Second life as urban hipsters | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/27/2007 (broken link)

Last edited by Yac; 12-17-2007 at 02:59 AM.. Reason: quote shortened, copyright protection
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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I live in center city and this has been going on for quite a while. I don't see it stopping. The move into the city makes so much sense. The homes in the suburbs can be sold for $350,000 to $400,000 and that money can be used to buy a condo in a highrise.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,397 posts, read 5,762,078 times
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That "new trend" happened in Chicago over 15 years ago. less than 10 years ago in San Diego. Obviously, thats regularly been the case in NYC.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,844,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmarlig View Post
I live in center city and this has been going on for quite a while. I don't see it stopping. The move into the city makes so much sense. The homes in the suburbs can be sold for $350,000 to $400,000 and that money can be used to buy a condo in a highrise.
Exactly. Especially for couples with no children -- how does it make any practical sense to live in a gargantuan single-family home? That is something that for which you're putting out more money to heat, pay higher property taxes, and spending money on gas for everyday errands. It will definitely be interesting to see the future demographic make-up of our cities after this trend has played out after a couple decades.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I have some fears that the trend will decline when the 10 year tax abatement starts ending in greater numbers. I'm not sure when the program started but since the early part of this decade it has been a major factor in all the building in CC and surrounding neighborhoods. And it has been great for the empty-nesters in their late 50's, early 60's. But will city life have the same appeal for people in their 70's, maybe on a fixed income, when they have to start paying property taxes? Will a ton of people start selling those places as they approach that ten year mark and cause a real crash in real estate prices? I wonder if other markets have used tax abatements and what happened when the grace period ended.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:02 AM
 
1,162 posts, read 2,052,379 times
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Sure, it's a trend and one likely to last. The numbers won't ever be amazing, because most baby boomers will stay in the suburbs (just as the good majority of young people buy their first homes in the suburbs, not the city). The population that enjoys the virtues of urban living, and were driven out by the crime and despair of the 1970s-1980s are returning to Center City, but they do consist a small minority.

Philadelphia's challenge is to get middle class families back into the city.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:03 AM
 
2,189 posts, read 6,851,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
I have some fears that the trend will decline when the 10 year tax abatement starts ending in greater numbers. I'm not sure when the program started but since the early part of this decade it has been a major factor in all the building in CC and surrounding neighborhoods. And it has been great for the empty-nesters in their late 50's, early 60's. But will city life have the same appeal for people in their 70's, maybe on a fixed income, when they have to start paying property taxes? Will a ton of people start selling those places as they approach that ten year mark and cause a real crash in real estate prices? I wonder if other markets have used tax abatements and what happened when the grace period ended.
I agree that something has to be done about reducing property taxes paid by senior citizens once their tax abatement ends. But, wouldn't they also have property taxes to pay in the suburbs?
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:17 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,466,716 times
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Thanks for the article, Duderino! Funny, I had just read it online not long before you posted it. It's not exactly news to me; I guess it only now reached enough critical mass to make it newsworthy.

I agree that it makes sense for older empty-nesters to consider a vibrant yet lower-maintenance lifestyle that Center City can offer. I also agree that it will be interesting to see what happens to new homeowners of all ages when the ten-year tax abatement subsides in the coming years.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:09 PM
Status: "Thou Shalt Not Lick the Surfaces of the "T"" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,054 posts, read 68,861,963 times
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I certainly hope this trend hits Scranton soon before all of our open space is gobbled up by the upcoming influx of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. For all the positives this city has going for it, I never understood why Scranton continues to empty out like the plague.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,673 posts, read 10,244,868 times
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Certainly the property taxes would be equivalent or better in the surrounding suburbs, but they might be lower in retirement areas, like lower Delaware for example. I wish the abatement had been structured so that it didn't go from 0-100% overnight. Phasing in the property taxes over the ten years would have acclimated people better.
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